Aloo gobi literally translates to "potatoes and cauliflower," but Jessi Singh of New York City's Babu Ji puts his own twist on it by adding unconventional Brussels sprouts to the mix. And his garnish of pine nuts and golden raisins adds a pleasant sweetness and crunch to what can often be a mushy texture. It's no wonder Singh says this extremely flavorful, colorful, turmeric-spiked vegetarian dish is one of his most popular menu items.
When blanching the vegetables, be sure to measure out the water. The dish is great hot out of the oven, but Singh also swears by serving it as a cold side the next day with the fragrant yogurt sauce, subtly flavored with lightly crushed cumin seeds.
To learn more, read "Snap Chaat."
Aloo Gobi with Yogurt Sauce (Indian-Style Cauliflower and Potatoes)
Recipe adapted from Jessi Singh, Babu Ji, New York, NY
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
For the Aloo Gobi:
12 cups water
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
One 1½-pound head cauliflower, cored and cut into medium florets
1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved
½ pound Brussels sprouts, roots trimmed and outer leaves removed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ jalapeño, minced
¼ cup golden raisins
Torn cilantro leaves, for garnish
Julienned carrots, ginger and beets, for garnish
For the Yogurt Sauce:
¼ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 cup yogurt
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and set aside.
2. Make the aloo gobi: In a large pot, bring the water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and turmeric. Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes, and drain.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium heat, stirring constantly, until light golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
4. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Season with salt. Cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomato, garam masala, cumin, coriander and jalapeño, and cook until fragrant and the tomato begins to break down, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl.
5. To the onion mixture, add the cooked cauliflower mixture, along with the reserved pine nuts and golden raisins. Toss to mix and season with salt. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 baking sheets and roast until slightly charred, 15 minutes.
6. While the vegetables are roasting, make the yogurt sauce: In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and lightly crush. (Alternatively: Place the toasted seeds on a cutting board and use the bottom of a skillet to lightly crush them.) In a small bowl, combine the crushed cumin seeds, yogurt, water, sugar and salt. Makes 1¼ cups of sauce.
7. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large serving platter. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and julienned vegetables. Serve with the yogurt sauce.